Linking two layers together for view/hide purpose, or shortcut to hide a layer folder?



  • I am trying to organize my layers as suggested in The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics.

    I have a comic script in a layer. Above that layer, I have my sketches and ideas from that pages of script. I want to draw on the sketch layer and be able to hide it with a shortcut, to quickly review the script on the layer below. Unhide, and get back to sketching ideas. I can fill the sketch layer to cover the text below, and draw away, till I need to erase. If I put a Layer Fill between the two, I have two layers I have to hide to show the scipt. If I put the script on top of the sketch layer, I have to go to the eye icon of the script layer to toggle it which gets troublesome cause I toggle it a lot.

    So, I can put a color fill with the idea sketch layer on top in their own folder, but is there a shortcut to hide the folder?

    Hope this makes sense and there is probably an easier way to go about it. Just got hung up this morning trying to sort it out.

    Thanks.



  • You can record an action in one of two ways. Name the folders and layers the same thing one each page your work on and record an action that selects the folder to be hidden, then hide the folder, then return to the layer you were working on. If the naming of the layers is consistent, the action will work.

    The second way is to use Layer Up and Layer Down to select the layers. For example if you always put your script one layer above the layer you sketch on, you could begin your recording like this: Layer Up, Hide/Unhide, Layer down.

    Assign a short cut keystroke to the action.



  • @garlam Thanks garlam.
    I was wondering if I would have to go to the extreme of making an action. I will whip this action up today then.
    Do all actions require a Fn key? I was using V for view a layer. My function keys are hidden under my number keys on my %65 keyboard.



  • You can use any key you'd like for the action short cut. You could even add the action to the Command Bar.



  • I did not realize you could have two layers selected, while only working on the layer with the pencil icon. With both selected, I can hide/show both paper layer and the active drawing layer.

    But, while making an action, I seem to only be able to Hide or Show, but not toggle between the two. I tried using the shortcut and also tried by selecting the menu item while recording the action. But it only records Hide or Show. Is there a way to have that step show Hide/Unhide?



  • I thought I had it. I was going to make two actions, one for hide, and another for unhide, hoping it would toggle between the two, but actions does not allow that like tools does.

    I have the actions to select the proper layers in the proper order though. So close.



  • Here's another way to do it without actions. You can either paste your script on a layer and merge it down with a white fill layer (rasterizing the text) or leave the script editable text and fill the layer with a large square caption balloon.

    Place this single script layer at the top of your layer order.

    Now make a square marquee selection in the top left corner of your canvas and make a mask outside the selection hiding all but the square. On your sketch layer make a selection next to that square and fill with red. make sure these squares are out of the way - in the trim or something.

    Now you need to go to Preferences>Shortcut Settings and add a short cut for Menu>Layer>Layer Mask>Enable Mask and another shortcut for Tool>Operation>Layer Selection.

    Now when you're drawing on your sketch layer and you want to see the script, Hold the Layer Selection shortcut and click the top left corner. Then click the Enable Mask shortcut. If you held the Layer Selection shortcut long enough you will still have your drawing tool active. Check the script then Enable Mask shortcut to hide and Hold the Layer Selection shortcut and click next the red square. Continue drawing.



  • Hi... am away from my desk so working from memory ... but a few thoughts you may want to try or may give you some idea.

    A) put a fill layer below your script and set your script layer to "Clip and layer below" ... then you would only need to show or hide that fill layer to show/hide both of them.

    B) Here is a thought for an Action that shows your script ( using the idea above) and then goes back to your original layer ( whatetever that layer was) when you have finished checking the script....

    1 add layer
    2 rename it "placeholder"
    3 Go to scriptfill layer
    4 Unhide it
    5 Binerize it ( not sure you can do this... if not you may need to add a layer and binerize it)
    6 hide layer ( i.e. the scriptfill layer )
    7 go to layer "placeholder"
    8 Delete layer ( takes you back to your original layer)

    In the Action check the tiny dialog box next to the binerization step to make its dialog appear.... so that at this stage the tiny Binerization dialog appears and the action stops until you click OK or press Enter.



  • @michaelsammler said in Linking two layers together for view/hide purpose, or shortcut to hide a layer folder?:

    I thought I had it. I was going to make two actions, one for hide, and another for unhide, hoping it would toggle between the two, but actions does not allow that like tools does. .

    I have the actions to select the proper layers in the proper order though. So close

    Sorry, I wasn't near my computer when I made the suggestion to make layer selections. You don't need to do that. The action can record hide and it can record show. You just need to make sure your script layer is named Script and the fill layer is named Script Fill. Begin your recording and click the eyeball for each of the layers without selecting the layers themselves. You would have one action that records the following:

    1.Display Status of Layer, Object Layer: Script Fill, Layer Show

    1. Display Status of Layer, Object Layer; Script, Layer Show

    And another action with the following:

    1.Display Status of Layer, Object Layer: Script Fill, Layer Hide

    1. Display Status of Layer, Object Layer; Script, Layer Hide


  • 888toto's idea is an interesting one for making this just one action. For example, you could have an action that does the following:

    1 Display Status of Layer, Object Layer: Script Fill, Layer Show
    2 Display Status of Layer, Object Layer; Script, Layer Show
    3 Brightness/Contrast Brightness 0 Contrast 0
    4 Display Status of Layer, Object Layer: Script Fill, Layer Hide
    5 Display Status of Layer, Object Layer; Script, Layer Hide

    Then click that box in the action making the Brightness Contrast option editable. Clicking OK on the option box hides the layers again.

    It doesn't matter what correction option you use to pause the action so long as it does nothing. (0 change)



  • @garlam Yes... I went for Binerization because I am hoping that it will indeed have zero effect on a white fill layer AND because I think it is the smallest dialog box available ( nearest it comes to a simple OK button). Best of course would be if there was a Pause function that can be applied in Actions ( I know PS has one)... I already listed that enhancement in the enhancement posting.



  • IMHO, you're making way too much work for yourself. I bought the dead-tree version of The DCG to Digitally Drawing comics and while it has some good info on drawing digitally, it is mostly applicable to Photoshop and not to any other app*. The book's saving grace is that most apps do digital drawing more or less the same. The suggestions Williams makes (adding reference images, script images to the Page file) just makes the file size huge and is not necessary in practice or within CSP -- Three words: Sub View Palette. Read about it in the UG or do a bit of research online about it. It's quite a great feature.

    What I would do, instead of all this creating actions and such, is to just export the script as a med to high rez JPG or PNG file, which it seems you've already done. Put all the script image files into a folder. Then in the Sub-View palette open the image files. Now your art files are smaller, fewer layers to muck about with, quicker opening time and you can flip between the palettes with relative ease. And no naming conventions to adhere to or auto-actions to constantly use.

    I have a dual monitor setup so I can have the sub-view palette open and the canvas view palette open at the same time. Even if you don't have a dual monitor, you still could maximize the Sub View Palette for a quick refresh and then collapse it, still a bit easier than using an acton, for my time-money. You could even use a tablet as a second monitor and keep your script open there and have an image viewer for reference images, if you want.

    Since I usually write the stories I draw, I just have my text editor app open in the other monitor and work from that. For instance for my graphic novel "Otherwhere" I have a folder named "Reference stuffings" and inside that are a folder for Ref things, Character sheets and so on.

    Actually in my workflow, I create a layer called Rough Script and I write, by hand -- cannot stand using the "text" tool in CSP-- the comic as I'm laying it out being an artist/writer. Then I write a text script from the rough script layer and have text I can then paste into Affinity Designer for lettering.

    Heck, you could even create a PDF of the script and put your reference images in that and have the PDF viewer app open and you can flip between it and CSP.

    I've found that the Sub View palette can do a lot that Williams does within a PS file -- but for the entire story. Of course opening the files one-by-one is a bit of a drag, but once you've loaded them all into the Sub View, they stay in the Sub View palette until you remove them (either from the palette itself or from the folder on a drive). You can sample colors, zoom into a high-res image from the palette. I feel that anything that makes drawing harder and takes away from drawing time is something that needs to be changed so it doesn't do either of those things.

    I realize that this is an abrupt turn from your OP, but thought I'd share what I think is an easier way. At least it is for me. All the advice given prior is great info but I just wanted to share an alternative way of looking at the issue at hand and that seemed to be having reference (script & sketches) within easy "reach" while drawing the comic. I apologize, in advance, if this derailed this thread or distracted from your goals.

    ----------
    *While I don't begrudge anyone from making a bit of coin, I think it's somewhat questionable that most of the book seems to be promoting Williams' Photoshop scripts that he sells on his website. I felt that was quite the kick in the Quills that not only did I need to buy the book, but to do some of the exercises I had to pay for the actions, too. And don't get me started on the insane prices for blank template pages... just my opinion, ymmv.



  • @cartoonMike Very cool. I think this is the most elegant solution.
    I took 5 pages of script, put it in it's own file, rasterized the text. Opened it in Sub View Pallette. Gave that menu a shortcut (Q), and now I can pop up the script no matter what layer or part of the process I am working on. And I only have to hit one key to open and the same key to close.

    I sold my imac, so when I use my cintiq, my 2nd monitor is gone. I do have a tablet, but my cintiq is in the shop and I am using my TV, so my tablet stand does not reach here. But I like the sub view pallette much better. I do have all my resource images on my tablet, but the script felt it needed to be closer. I draw directly on the script notes and highlight things and such. Circle panels counts in blue, red square around new page titles and such.

    On a side not, The DC guide was mostly helpful for me in how he organized folders and layers. Never felt compelled to pay for scripts or templates, but ya, kind of weird he sells them. I am a beginner and never had masterfiles of any kind, but am saving myself some time now. And I never thought about putting the BG and Characters on separate layers. I might of figured that out later, but glad I am doing it now. Perhaps obvious things, but I can be awfully thick skulled at times :-) Thanks for the comments and of course this did not distract me from my goal.



  • @888toto said in Linking two layers together for view/hide purpose, or shortcut to hide a layer folder?:

    @garlam Yes... I went for Binerization because I am hoping that it will indeed have zero effect on a white fill layer AND because I think it is the smallest dialog box available ( nearest it comes to a simple OK button). Best of course would be if there was a Pause function that can be applied in Actions ( I know PS has one)... I already listed that enhancement in the enhancement posting.

    @garlam said in Linking two layers together for view/hide purpose, or shortcut to hide a layer folder?:

    888toto's idea is an interesting one for making this just one action. For example, you could have an action that does the following:

    1 Display Status of Layer, Object Layer: Script Fill, Layer Show
    2 Display Status of Layer, Object Layer; Script, Layer Show
    3 Brightness/Contrast Brightness 0 Contrast 0
    4 Display Status of Layer, Object Layer: Script Fill, Layer Hide
    5 Display Status of Layer, Object Layer; Script, Layer Hide

    Then click that box in the action making the Brightness Contrast option editable. Clicking OK on the option box hides the layers again.

    It doesn't matter what correction option you use to pause the action so long as it does nothing. (0 change)

    You guys are like chemists. I am keeping my eye on you both.
    And I learned a lot, so thank you so much.
    Now keep asking for CSP to include pen and pencil sounds!!!!!!!!!!!